Mexican chicken and vegetable fritters are the perfect combination of healthy vegetables and chicken, in a saucy tomato-based broth that makes this dish warm and comforting. This meal is a great way to use up leftover chicken or a couple of vegetables hanging out in your produce drawer! Plus, this dish is kid-friendly, so I know when I serve this dish, everyone will be happy!
These Mexican vegetable and chicken patties are so delicious, they make a regular appearance on our dinner menu. I love serving these because they are a favorite dish for the whole family, kids included! They are deliciously crispy and golden on the outside, but tender, juicy, and moist on the inside!
We eat quite a bit of chicken. But sometimes, we can get into a chicken rut. This recipe comes to me from two of my favorite Mexican home cooks, Lorenza and Rebeca. They shared this recipe with me one day when I was struggling with the “what to make for dinner” question.
This easy main dish recipe is a great option if you are looking for something that is a total family pleaser. Plus, it’s a great way to use up any leftover chicken or lingering vegetables in your produce drawer. This main course is perfect for pairing with other Mexican favorites like beans, rice, and corn tortillas too!
What’s in Mexican chicken and vegetable fritters?
The above photo shows only some of the ingredients that you will need for making these delicious chicken and vegetable fritters. So be sure to check the recipe card for the full quantities and instructions!
- Mexican grey squash
- White onion
- Shredded chicken
- Vegetable oil
- Garlic cloves
- Chicken broth
Substitutions and variations
Change up the vegetables
I usually have Mexican grey squash, carrots, and onions on hand, so that makes pulling this dish together a cinch! But feel free to mix up your veggies to include your favorites! You could substitute the Mexican grey squash for zucchini or yellow summer squash. Or add in small pieces of broccoli or spinach. You could even mix in diced green beans or corn! Eliminate the onion if that flavor doesn’t work for you. The beauty of this dish is that you can customize the vegetables to your taste!
The sauce is optional
I love to serve these in a warm tomato-based sauce. The chicken fritters soak up a bit of the sauce and it just makes this dish extra comforting. Plus, the sauce is perfect for dunking a warm corn tortilla. But, you could eat these beauties without the sauce too if you like! Use them to make a filling for tacos, or simply serve alongside beans, rice, or a fresh green salad. You could top them with a spicy salsa too for an extra kick!
If you are serving these without the sauce, just eliminate those ingredients from your grocery list!
Add extra flavor
As I mentioned above, these fritters can be customized to your particular tastes. If you want a fritter with some more oomph, why not add in some fresh herbs, like cilantro? Garlic powder, ground black pepper, onion powder, or other dried spices could also be added to increase flavor too!
We have never used shredded cheese in this recipe, but if you want to go for something with a bit of extra gooeyness, what about adding in some shredded Mexican-style cheese, a cheddar cheese blend, or a traditional shredded Mexican cheese like Oaxaca (sort of like mozzarella cheese)? We like the classic flavor of the recipe as it is written, but feel free to change things up a bit!
I like to keep these fritters a bit on the smaller size, about 3-4 inches in diameter. You could make these fritters even smaller for kids or to serve as an appetizer. Or you could make larger patties if desired! The size is really up to you!
I usually cook a whole, bone-in skinless chicken breast at some point during the week to shred and have on hand for a variety of dishes, like saucy Mexican shredded chicken, or enchiladas suizas. But the great thing about this dish, is that you can use whatever shredded chicken that you have on hand! I think this would work perfectly with a leftover rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store or even leftover Thanksgiving turkey. I have not made this dish with ground chicken or cooked chopped chicken, but I have seen other recipes that use these in place of shredded chicken!
How to make Mexican chicken and vegetable fritters step-by-step
Make the fritters
Shred carrot and squash
Start by prepping the vegetables for this dish. I like to peel and shred my carrot on the large holes of a box grater. I remove the stem end of my squash and also shred it on the large holes of a box grater. Set the shredded vegetables aside, along with the diced onion.
Start heating oil
Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat, until it is shimmering. You will want to use a large frying pan so that you can fit more fritters in the pan at a time! While the oil is heating up, work on the next step!
Whip eggs and mix ingredients
Place your eggs in a large bowl and whip with a fork. Then add in the shredded chicken, carrots, squash, and onion. Add in salt and mix everything thoroughly.
Fry the fritters
Scoop about 1/4 cup of the fritter mixture (enough for 1 fritter) into the hot oil. I can usually get 3-4 fritters in my pan without overcrowding. Allow the fritters to fry for 2-3 minutes on the first side or until the bottoms are golden brown. Gently flip and continue cooking for another 1 1/2 minutes or until the second side is golden brown. Using a spatula, take the fritters out of the frying pan and let any excess oil drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat this process until all of the fritter mixture is fried.
Make the sauce
Blend the ingredients
Cut up the Roma tomatoes and onions into large chunks. Place them in your blender with chicken broth, salt, and garlic. Blend on high speed until completely smooth.
Cook the sauce
Add a little oil to a large pan or skillet. Allow it to heat until shimmering, then add the sauce from the blender. Allow the sauce to cook for 8-10 minutes or until it darkens in color, stirring occasionally. Add in salt to taste.
Just before serving, add the fritters to the warm sauce and allow everything to heat through. Using a large spoon, scoop out the fritters with the tomato sauce, placing two fritters on a plate per person.
Why do my chicken and vegetable fritters fall apart?
The first time I made these little guys, the batch fell apart in my pan. It was a hot mess, with pieces of fritters floating around in my oil. The problem was that I didn’t have enough eggs to make everything hold together. The next time I tested this recipe with more eggs, I had no problem getting a firmer texture and keeping the fritters intact while they were frying!
There’s a quick little test I like to do once I have everything mixed up together in the bowl, just before I start frying. I tilt the bowl a bit to the side, and squash all of the fritter ingredients to one side. If there is a bit of egg that runs out from the mixture, then I know that I have enough eggs to keep everything together. Do you see the egg mixture in the blue bowl below? If I don’t see any liquid, I know that my mix is too dry and won’t keep its shape! If this is the case, add more eggs, one at a time!
Do I have to remove any water from the vegetables?
Shredded Mexican grey squash and zucchini can release quite a bit of water. But I have not had any problems with these fritters holding together, even if the water isn’t squeezed out of the shredded squash prior to frying.
How do I store leftover chicken fritters?
I store the leftover fritters in an airtight container in the fridge. I generally like to store the leftover sauce and fritters separately. This allows me to serve them with or without the sauce and it helps to keep the fritters more intact. They can fall apart if left in the sauce.
Other delicious recipes for you to try
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Source: Lorenza Lafragua and Rebeca Díaz, Morelos, Mexico
Mexican Chicken and Vegetable Fritters
For the fritters
- 1 medium Mexican grey squash ~5.4 ounces or 152g, ~ 1 cup shredded, see notes
- 1 large carrot ~5 ounces or 138g, ~ 1 cup shredded
- 1/4 medium white onion, finely diced ~a heaping 1/4 cup
- 4 large eggs
- 3.5 cups shredded chicken
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil or enough to cover the bottom of the skillet, I used canola oil
For the sauce
- 7 roma tomatoes 1lb 9 ounces, 700g
- 3/4 white onion
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil I used canola
For the fritters
- Peel and shred the carrot on the large holes of a box grater, yield ~ 1 cup1 large carrot
- Shred squash on the large holes of a box grater, yield ~ 1 cup1 medium Mexican grey squash
- Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 2-3 minutes1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Meanwhile, beat eggs in a large bowl with a fork. Add in chicken, onion, carrots, squash, and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly.1 medium Mexican grey squash, 1 large carrot, 1/4 medium white onion, finely diced, 4 large eggs, 3.5 cups shredded chicken, Salt to taste
- Scoop about ~1/4 cup of the mixture per fritter into small mounds in the pan. Allow room for 3-4 fritters in the pan at a time, ensuring that the pan isn't overly crowded.
- Cook for ~2-3 minutes until golden, then flip. Cook for another 1 1/2 minute more or until golden.
- Remove the fritters from the skillet and place them on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat the previous 2 steps until all of the fritter mixture is cooked.
For the sauce
- Cut the tomatoes and onions in large chunks. Place in the blender with garlic cloves and chicken broth. Blend on high speed for ~45-60 seconds or until smooth.7 roma tomatoes, 3/4 white onion, 2-3 cloves garlic, 1 cup chicken broth
- Heat oil in a large sauce pan until shimmering on medium-high heat, ~2-3 minutes.2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Add sauce to the pan and simmer until the sauce darkens in color, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Add salt to the sauce and stir, taste and adjust for salt if necessary.Salt to taste
- Just before serving, add the fritters to the sauce for 2-3 minutes to warm through.
- Serve 2 fritters per person with a bit of sauce.
- Substitute zucchini or yellow summer squash for Mexican grey squash if necessary
(The below nutrition label is included as a courtesy. Our terms and conditions explain our nutrition policy.)